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! CHRONICLE AND COMMENT ?OF THE STAGE'
GzzGrdct I -?4 !^<&ry Csooof j?f?feo. <?tezarjtt720-rz crxxc? Fixing the Pace By Heywood Broun The author merely writes the play, but the producer fixes the tempo. Here he has almost the better part. If the timing is exactly suitable to the story in hand a play can hardly fail utterly, while the most brilliant bit of dramatic literature means little if it is played more than a beat or so too fast or too slow. "Three Faces East" is a striking experiment in that it marks a tra? ditional departure from a conventional theory of pace. The play is a melodrama from every angle of the story. It is filled with plots and counter plots and coincidences. Ninety-nine out of one hundred pro? ducers would set this melodrama at a pace limited only by the physical ability of the actors. The spies would dart back and forth and turn and wheel like submarine chasers. Intrigue 'would race. Sam Forrest or George Cohan, or<" both, hit upon a better idea. They de? cided that they would compel the audi? ence to take their spies seriously. Now, as a matter of fact, the secret agents of "Three Faces East" are not a bit better characterized than the spies of "The .Man Who Stayed at Home," or "Friendly Enemies," or "Allegiance," or any one of a dozen recent plays which have dealt with plotters. And yet we found the Valdar of Emmett Corrigan a far more sinister figure than any of the others. His individual performance is better, to be sure, but. more than that, he profits by the atmosphere of the play as a whole. A genuine quality of -tcalthiness has been created in "Three Faces East" by a conscious repression. Tension is held. The audience is made 'o wait for the dropping of the other shoe. ' We do not contend that this slow pace necessarily makes for greater in? terest. For one thing, it sacrifices all humorous values. Most of the spy plays have been written in the spirit of larky adventure. The playwright of this other school rather wanted people '?o laugh. He was willing to admit that ? plav was preposterous. "Three Faces East" i?- intended to make an en ??rely different appeal. Ii cannot meet laughter half way. There was some '?uehter on the first night, and it was distinctly harmful. During one scene 'he scheme of things was a bit flawad. 'if a sudden, pace became rapid, and this disturbed the mood. This hap? pened only once. For the rest, the play was held in check. Unquestionably there is something in the theory. If an author does not care to risk the task of taking his audience by storm he may creep up through the grass and stalk it. A good many people will find that "Three Faces East" has captured their attention without their realizing the exact moment at which they began to get interested in the identity of the great Boelkc and the fate 'of the Rritish Cabinet. Even if we did not enjoy the easy ex? pedient of clipping things and pasting them up we would probably use at least a little of an article ealied "The Historical Play," from "The Villager," which we arc going to quote presently. After commenting on the fact that the various plays about the war are not altogether satisfactory, the article goes on as follows: "The historical play offers the way out. The historical play docs no more in its effect than give us our own time in disguise, yet it is precisely the disguise which is its salvation. A gas mask can make us forget what the play is about, while a shield plays its minor part for us in che right pro? portion; yet the man who bears the shield, the soldier who is torn between his private interest and the interest of his country, who suffers *.nd endures and lays down his life for his friend, who overcomes all manner of obsta? cles and concludes all manner of in? spiring deed*-this is the same sol? dier who is fighting for u* to-day ahfar gas and star shell. The play? wright translates the mechanical de? tails til the nearer envi ron m'4,1, but the thing? which matter he leave i In their coincidence. 'Horace' was among the first play? to be offered In Paris v/ht-n the French theatre had scram? bled to it? feet (xtUir the shock of (914, and the reason is not far to seek, fiom? was the talk, but France was he thought; yesterday was the set? ting, but to day was meant, 'Si vous n'?t? Romain, soyez digne de l'?tre!' Ho? such line? rritut strik? into the haart of the mim and women whose foremost thought hai become la patri?-; "It is a large factor in the aesthetic pleasure to translate the play before \ us into our own experience; it is a solace, too, especially in these trying j times, to be reminded that other men ? and women in other ages have had to face the same decisions and endure much the same hardships as we to-day. : The theatrical managers do not gen- ! eralize overmuch in aesthetic theory, to be sure, but they are nevertheless I sensing this particular opportunity : which the war has offered and are j groping to lay hold on it. There is talk, for example, of a play about J Wellington a play on some phase of j the French Revolution. Our own '? Percy MacKaye projects a piece about , George Washington. At the tail end of the London season a courageous manager tentatively offered an Eng lish version of Rovetta's 'Romantis simo.' which earlier had bad a few special matinees in London in Italian. To the surprise even of the critics, who : spontaneously praised it, this fiery bit | from the history of Italy's national '? aspirations found, not, of course, such ; popularity as 'Yes, Uncle!' but at least a gratifying and unexpected audience." Some day we are going: to see a farce in which a harassed character docs j not pause at the door just before his ( exit and exclaim: "You go to hell!" - I The season is only a few weeks old, ? but already we are convinced that the I Committee on Public Information is correct in saying that spies are every? where. Some time in May wp plan to select! our own particular all-Anerica acting ? team for the season, but just now we ' have Sidney Drew -Mid Emmett Corri? gan slated for the ends. SpeakiTig of pace, we think that the proper tempo for picture acting should j lie somewhere between the eternal restlessness of Douglas Fairbanks and j the posturing of old Bill Hart. By and by the topical film reviews will be back laying cornerstones in : Hartford and gathering cocoa beans in ] Honduras, but just now nobody can achieve quito the same dramatic thrill as the camera man who turns the crank ! while American soldiers march through ? Paris. Every dramatic critic, no matter how 1 great his modesty, likes to see quota , ttons from his reviews in the new?' ?? paper advertisements or on the ash cans. It gives him confidence in his ; ability to turn an apt phrase. We are ! pleased to find that one little thine | which we dashed off recently is being : used. It reads: "Ten degrees cooler \ than the street." Battles Depicted in Fireworks The most elaborate display of fin ! works In years in promised by Schenck I Brothers, managers of Palisades Park : at that resort on Tuesday evening, 1 August 20, A whole battlefront is do I picted during a bombardment from .?'; !arnl and naval forces. The battle . ! then carried to the trenches, and tanl i will be shown creeping through N Man's Land while artillery lire sets u| I a barrage. Luna Season in Full Swint? The midseason finds everything i going merr?y at Luna Park. All il J attractions?-are going at full spc land to capacity. The war-tlrne attri? tions aro "Over There," n pictured d - i scrlptlon of the battlefield bark of the ? lines in Pirardy; "The Submarine At j lack" and the Red ( ross Theat.ro, Vaudeville ('ALACK Mclntyre and Heath for their second week present, a new comedy entitled, "Back to the Livery Stable." Emma Cams, the singing comedienne, appears in new songs and frocks. Van and Schcnck, the Watson Sisters and Jack Wyatt's Scotch Lads and Lassies are some of the features of an attractive bill. RIVERSIDE Mile. Dazie in a lav? ishly staged revue of classic and modern dancing heads the bill- Re? gina Conne?i and Ruby ('raven briivjj to vaudeville John Reed's little play, "Moondown," which the Washington Square Players produced in their first season. Allan Rogers, tenor; Duffy and Inglis in their skit; "The Music Master" and Andy Tombs and Rena Parker arc on the same bill. ROYAL Taylor Granville and Laura Pierpcnt, in the condensation of "An American Ace," are the feature, of the bill. The supporting players include Paul logolcvitch, violinist; Frank Orth and Anne Cody, Georgette and Capitolla in "Clothes, Clothes, Clothes,*? and the Do Wolfe Sisters. BUSH WICK Andy Byrne and Martha Russell divide topline honors with Bert Kalmar and Jessie Brown. Andy Byrne presents an offering en? titled "Types of Vaudeville," and Bert Kalmar and Jessie Brown offer a nov? elty called "Nursery Land." Others on the bill are Hines and Fox, the Ziegler Sisters, Klsie Williams and Company and Myrtle and Adelaide. LOEW'S AMERICAN?"A Night ir the Trenches," a musical war farce, i? the featured act the first part of th?. week. Other acts will be Arthur Sulli? van, in a comedy sketch; Nora Aliar and George Russell. New Plays This Week MONDAY?Arthur Hopkins will reopen his Plymouth Theatre svith "A Very Good Young Man." The play is by Martin Brown, wiio before bis retirement was a well-known musical comedy dancer. Mr, Hop? kins describes it as "a comedy in three jiarties," since a unique social gathering provides the background for each act. The locale lies east of Third Avenue. Wallace Eddinger is the young man of the title. The assisting cast includes Ada Lewis, Ruth Findlay, Josephine Meyer, Alan Dinegart and Frank Longacre. "Yip, Yip, Yaphank!" the musical military revue, written and composed by Sergeant Irving Rerun and presented by L'">0 soldier boys from Camp Upton, will open at the Century Theatre for an engage? ment of six nights and two matin?es. The object of the show i is to raise a fund to establish a community house in Camp Upton. TUESDAY "He Didn't Want, to Do It" is a musical play which is based on a farce of the same name by George Broadhurst that was produced several seasons ago. The book and lyrics of the piece are by Broad? hurst and the music is by Silvio Hein. In the cast are Ernest Torrence, Percy Ames, Charles Meekam, Katherine Galloway, Helen Shipman, Adele Blood and what the press agent calla "an Adamless chorus." A. H. Wroods presents at the Eltinge Theatre "Under Orders," a new play of to-day in four acts by Berte Thomas. The 3cenes are laid in England and Germany. There are four characters in the piece, en? acted by Shelley Hull and Effie Shannon. WEDNESDAY?The second of the three plays which Mr. Woods presents this week is "Where Poppies Bloom," Marjorie Rambeau's new star? ring vehicle. The play, which is by Roi Cooper Megrue. is a drama of love in France. > THURSDAY The large, inclusive word "Everything" is: the title of this sea? son's big show at the Hippodrome. As formerly the production is by R. H. Burnside. The music and lyrics this year are by Lieutenant John Philip Sousa, Sergeant Irving Berlin, John L. Golden, Percy Wein rieh, William Jerome, Raymo7id Hubbell and others. Among the prin? cipals are DeWolf Hopper. Houdini, Relie Storey, Charles T. Aldrich, Bert Levy, "Bluch," the clown; Arthur Geary, Desiree Lubvoska, Marion Saki and Gerda Guida, with many featured entertainers. FRIDAY?At the Harris Theatre A. H. Woods will present "Why Worry'-" a melodramatic farce, with songs by Montague Glass and Jules Eckert Goodman. Fannie Brice is the featured player. Associated with hel? are the Avon Comedy Four, of vaudeville fame; George Sidney, May Boley, Vera Gordon and others. ! Mitzi Tumbles Through "Head Over Heels" ! On Thursday night, August 29, Henry ? '? W. Savage will present Mitzi, who will ? sing, dance, mimic and tumble through i 1 a new m?sica! play, "Head Over Heels," ? suggested by Nalbro Hartley's story, ? "Shadows." The book and lyrics are by j Edgar Allan Woolf, author of over one j hundred successful' vaudeville playlets. ? The music for "Head Over Heels" was composed by the prolific Jerome A. ; Kern. The piece was staged by George Marion ?uul the dancing numbers ar? ranged by Julian Mitchell. The r?le : assume?! by Mitzi is that of a little ; Italian acrobat, coming to New York \ with the Bambinetti troupe to play the I music halls and falling "head over I heels" into a romance which involves episodes of comedy and sentiment? j Among the principals are Robert Em I mett Keane, Charles Judels, Boyd Mar i shal!, Edmund Gurney, Dorothy Mack ! aye, Gertrude Dallas and a vast array | of pretty girls. Gregory Kelly Comes Back to 'Seventeen" On Monday night Gregory Kelly will I resume the part of William Sylvanus Baxter in Booth Tarkington's "Seven? teen" at the Booth Theatre. Mr. Kelly has been in Indianapolis for several ; weeks appearing in the plays produced by Stuart Walker during his repertory season there. Last week Mr. Kelly ! played the principal part in Stuart i Walker's new play, "Jonathan Makes a Wish." Miss Ruth Gordon continues as the baby talk lady and Lillian Ross as the ' ten-year-old sister of Willie. flsan' ?*"** Hej-E,v *&"%}&, %%%% 'ssff^ ~ ??we= *^*?? Frank Carter on Personality By Harriette Underhill Having interviewed Frank Carter on the subject of personality, we know no more about it than we did before. As soon as we saw him in the "Follies" the other night, we determined to add him to our list of victims who are to be interviewed in regard to this gift of the gods, because we had an idea that he might know more about it than most people. Of course every one recognizes per? sonality when he sees it. It is that thing which enableth a man to enter? tain us the while we say "He getteth away with murder, aye, verily." If you have it, however, it won't mat? ter whether you have any other talents or not. You may go and bury them, for you won't need them; and if you haven't it?well, you won't need your talents anyway, for you'll never get a chance to display them. Lately we have been studying this peroonality thing a lot, and every time we spot any one who has it we imme? diately go and demand an interview, but up to the present time we have ? been able to unearth no facts which may be set down to aid the acquisitive. One reason we can't find out anything about it is because none of the persons who possess it seem to be aware of that fact. Now, when we visited tho "Follies" it was with the avowed intention of doing a "beauty story." We thought of interviewing the "peaches of JOiS" and augmenting it with a few remarks by Lillian Lorraine; or possibly a few j "hints on clothes" by the beautiti-l Dolores. And what, happened? Why. we saw Frank Carter and were back again immediately on the personality ! quest. For here was personality phis. We recognized it as soon as he came out in the patent attorney's office and engaged Eddie Cantor as office boy. And then in the next scene, where he sings "In Old Versailles," it was still ! more pronounced. Now, no one could ! accuse Mr. Carter of being a real i singer. In fact, when you hear him ! sing you wonder why he doesn't dance. ! No other person would dare to chop I their notes off at the end the way he J does. He acts as though he just couldn't be annoyed sustaining them. ; However, wc do not believe that any other person could "pin his medal op the girl he left behind" quite so ef? fectively, although we agree with him that "She deserves it moro than I." He doesn't deserve it at ail?at least not for bis singing. But do the deserv? ing people of this earth ever get any medals pinned on them? They do not. To think with us is to act, so we i immediately called Mr. Carter on the ? telephone and asked 'lim if he would ! like to be interviewed. He replied that ? he could think of nothing which would delight him more, and to obviate any I (larger of mistaken identity he would ; wear a carnation in his buttonhole and carry a Tribune folded in bis right hand. Now. all the thirgs which we have ^aid about Mr. Carter in tfce preceding paragraphs we have. yi^>ady said to him. We to'.d him r sV %>7ny that we didn't care very n.ucv, ?er his voice but. that we loved -. ^ v?y he sang, and we begged hi'.n to v..- us how he did it. \nd wo asked him if he knew that he played all his scenes as though he had just dropped in for the evening and considered it a jolly good lark? "N'o," lie said. "Tell me some more' You know, no one ever tells you the truth about yourself, and if they do tell you that you're rotten they never tell you why But I don't, need any? one to tell me that I can't sing. I know It quite well." How charming! No nerd to pursue the subject, further, so we said: "Tell us, please, Mr Carter, what is person? ality?" "Personality? Why, you know, per f-.or.ai t.. is thai thing which enables people to get their stuff across without any effort." Rut .Mr. Cartel was thinking in terms of the theatre only. "No, we don't mean rt'Aaf is person . nllty, but must one be born with it? i May one achieve it, or does on? some [ times have it thrust upon him?" "It seems to me that what passer for 'personality is merely freedom from if. I fort and a complete knowledge of oce'< subject. Now, I have been on the I stage for twenty year:." Herewefjllj expected to hear that Mr. Carter k: started in "The Silver King.*1 But r is original. He said nothing whateve about that "Silver Kinir." Where!. started was in a stock company in Su ! Francisco, playing child's parts, u | he has been at it ever since. (Kn playing child's parts, of course.) "I soon tired of ?nn Francis? and longed to view the wonders t: Kansas City. So I went there to pli; and found it most uninteresting. Prob? ably Chicago was the place I had: mind; so to Chicago 1 went. Butais pleased me even less than Kansas Civ So New York became the? Mecca, ui then eastward the star of empire to? its way. After I ha?! live?! in New. Yak for awhile, I felt that I couldn't im any longer outside oi London, so M London I went, and t! n to Paris, .' was on my way to the Orient when ttii war broke out and I had to come baci. "And that is now the ?and of uj dreams. I shan't be ?atisfied until have been to China and Japan." So, having interviewed Frank Carter on the subject of personality, we know no more about it than we ?lid before New Managers Open Fulton , , With "A Horne-Made Hero" The Ijulton Theatre, '.'inch cluragei hands ?Very little while, is now undr ? the management of Oliver D. ?fail?? and Nathan D. Smith. The new lessee will open its season in t he first wee's 1 of September with "A Home-Mad Hero," a war play which deals will the humorous phi Toism. He title lirst cbosei piece ?i '"A Yellow Streak." The cast Jnclidei William Ingersoll, Ralph Kellerd,?b i Cahill, Evelyn Car!"" Carringten td Elmer Grandiu. IRVINtf BERLIN Open Air Entertainment At the Expo?*00